Photos and text by Gabrielle. This post is sponsored by LOLA. Get 50% off your first order — see details below!
Okay, Friends. Without getting into TMI territory, can we discuss tampons for a bit? When LOLA, a new brand of tampons, reached out to me and wanted me to try their products, I said yes for two reasons:
First, I’ve been using the same-old grocery store products since I was a teenager. But in the last few years, I’ve heard about all sorts of alternatives. Menstrual cups and natural tampons and resuable pads and period panties. And I haven’t tried a single thing that’s crossed my path.
I keep meaning to — I really like the idea of trying something new, of possibly finding something that I like better, something that’s easier. I like the idea that people are innovating in this category. I think we need a ton more innovation! But then I forget, and my period comes, and I need supplies asap and just go with my usual box. So one reason I said yes, is that I wanted to finally, actually try something new.
The second reason is that the first descriptor I read about LOLA is that their tampons are 100% cotton with BPA-free plastic applicators. And suddenly, for the first time in my life, I asked myself: If LOLA tampons are 100% cotton, and they spell that out as a major selling point, then what are my usual tampons made of? What exactly am I putting in my body?!
Well, it turns out, that’s not an easy question to answer. The FDA doesn’t require brands to disclose a comprehensive list of ingredients in their tampons, so most of them don’t. Certainly, we wouldn’t stand for this with our food or beauty products, but somehow we’ve let tampons slip under the radar. (I imagine it’s partly because we’ve generally been taught to speak in hushed tones about our periods, or anything that relates to our periods, and sort of pretend they don’t happen.)
But we do know that major brands use a mix of synthetic ingredients in their tampons including rayon and polyester. And we also know that their tampons are often treated with harsh chemical cleansing agents, fragrance, and dyes. Yikes.
I admit that there was a time I wouldn’t have really cared. I would have said, whatever the ingredients are, surely they are in such a small dose, that it doesn’t matter. But then, when I started taking my depression meds, I had a realization. My pills are tiny. Like so super small. And I don’t even take a full pill. And yet, that tiny bit of chemical makes a massive difference for me. The difference between functioning normally and not being able to get out of bed. When that fact hit home, I finally grasped the drive some people have to use all natural/non-toxic products. Clearly, even small amounts of chemical can make a big difference.
You would think that since I have first person experience with this, I would be a real stickler for natural products. But I admit, I’m not 100% pure in my product consumption at all. As you may remember, I’ve tried several natural beauty products for myself, but often they are items that find their way to me almost accidentally. I haven’t necessarily sought them out.
I’ve wondered sometimes why I’m not more committed to all-wholesome-ingredients, all-the-time, and I can think of 3 reasons. Lots of times I make decisions out of convenience, and pick up whatever is close at hand. Other times, I just really like a product and how it works for me, even if it’s not totally pure and natural. And lastly, even though I know small amounts of chemical can wreak havoc on our bodies, sometimes it’s just easier for me to live in denial. Trying to purify every product in the house can be exhausting! (Anyone else feel this way?)
But that said, I do know when I find a natural product that works as well as whatever I was using before, and it’s equally convenient, that’s typically when I get on board. And speaking of working well plus convenient, here is what I like best about LOLA:
1) It’s a subscription. LOLA makes your life a little bit easier, because it arrives every month, just like clockwork, just like your period. So you’re always prepared, and you don’t have to think about it.
2) The subscription is fully customizable. You can choose your preferred mix of light, regular, and supers. You can choose your number of boxes, and the frequency of delivery. You can get exactly what you need when you need it.
3) LOLA’s subscription is flexible — meaning you can change, skip, or cancel it at any time. Pricing is $10 for 1 box, or $18 for 2 boxes per month.
4) The packaging is really handsome. A box of these sitting on an open bathroom shelf? I wouldn’t mind at all.
5) Want to give LOLA a try? The first 100 readers to use the code designmom will receive 50% off their order!
What’s your take? Do you think about the products you use for your period? Or are you on auto-pilot as far as that goes? How about new products on the scene — have you experimented with anything? Found a new product you prefer? How much of a concern are ingredients for you? Do you go out of your way to find natural health and beauty products, or are you like me and try them sort-of accidentally? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
P.S. — The code is for new customers only, and currently, LOLA only ships to the continental U.S.. That means no Hawaii or Alaska. Sorry!